New cap Laughlin enjoys rapid rise
Ben Laughlin is still struggling to work out how he has ended up in the Australia team in South Africa after spending nine years working as a carpenter. Laughlin, 26, made his Twenty20 international debut in Centurion on Sunday and returned the promising figures of 1 for 32 from his four overs.
Now Laughlin is hoping to force his way into the ODI side for the five-match series that begins in Durban on Friday. It would complete a remarkable journey for Laughlin, who has only held a full-time Queensland contract for one season and began 2008-09 without a state one-day game to his name.
"I had a decent grade summer [in 2007-08] and I didn't really feel like I was getting anywhere," Laughlin told AAP. "I had pretty much had enough of cricket and then I was lucky enough to get called in for the last Shield game.
"I went all right in that and then got a Bulls contract this year and I was pretty stoked to get that. Then I got picked in the first one-day game which was probably even more of a shock and then played them all year long and ended up here. It's bizarre."
Laughlin is the son of the allrounder Trevor Laughlin, who played three Tests for Australia in 1978 and also appeared in six one-day internationals. Laughlin is hoping to emulate his father and make his 50-over debut in South Africa but if the opportunity doesn't arive, he has already enjoyed a rapid rise.
"Hopefully I'll get a game along the way somewhere," Laughlin said. "Even if I don't play, I'm still having a pretty good time. I'm living the dream."